Top Ten Reason for One Great Cause
I am an “early to bed, early to rise” kind of guy, and I rarely see any late-night television. However, I recently heard about a new late night talk show. Well, at least I think that it is new. It is called Late Night with David Letterman. Have you seen it? Anyway, he always starts off the show with a Top Ten List on some topic in the news, which inspired me to put together this list: The Top Ten Reasons for Supporting the Delaware AIDS Walk This Year.
10. Leading in the fight against HIV/AIDS is an important part of LGBT history. When the AIDS epidemic became a part of our world in the early 1980s, it was gay and lesbian persons (and their allies) who were on the frontlines of the fight, advocating for medicines and services and funding. LGBT persons showed the world in a powerful way how a community can work together to make a difference. We can still do that today.
9. Delaware is facing significant cuts in the funding for its HIV/AIDS services. The funding for HIV prevention services in Delaware has been cut by 34%, when compared to funding levels from only two years ago. As a result, some HIV prevention services are being curtailed, and others are being eliminated.
8. Local HIV/AIDS Service Providers get a share of the money raised by Walk Teams they put together. For many years, the Delaware AIDS Walk was a fundraiser for AIDS Delaware. In the spirit of collaboration, AIDS Delaware began partnering with the Delaware HIV Consortium, and together the two organizations opened the door for other AIDS agencies to raise money for their own programs through the Walk. As a result, nearly a dozen HIV/AIDS programs benefit in some way from money raised by walkers each year, including CAMP Rehoboth’s CAMPsafe Program.
7. It is easy to fundraise for the AIDS Walk. The Delaware AIDS Walk has its own webpage, which allows walkers to set up their own personal Fundraising Pages. That webpage address, posted on a walker’s Facebook wall or sent out by email to family and friends with a request for donations, is a quick and easy way to raise money. No knocking on doors needed!
6. New cases of HIV infection in Delaware are on the upswing. The fight is not over yet. After eight years of decreases, we might see an increase in new HIV/AIDS cases being reported this year, if current trends continue.
5. It is the fifth anniversary of the AIDS Walk in Rehoboth Beach. The first AIDS Walk in Delaware was held in 1986, and there has been a Walk held every year since then… in Wilmington. It was not until 2006 that an AIDS Walk was held in Sussex County, and even then it was held in Georgetown. Two years later, the Walk route was moved to downtown Rehoboth Beach. Why not join us to help us celebrate our fifth year in Rehoboth Beach?
4. It is a chance to act goofy! Remember how I said that HIV/AIDS Service Providers often have AIDS Walk Teams of their own? CAMP Rehoboth has one, and it’s called “G.O.O.F.Y.” (Gays On Our Feet, Ya’all) This G.O.O.F.Y. name was Team Captain Sal Seeley’s idea, and I am certain he would welcome a couple more goofy people on the team and raising money. Give Sal a call at (302) 227-5620 or stop by the CAMP Rehoboth office to sign up.
3. It is a way to remember people who touched our lives, but who lost their own lives to HIV/AIDS. One of the most poignant moments of the Walk takes place about halfway through the route. Walkers are given a carnation to place at the base of a AIDS Awareness Ribbon sculpture, handcrafted by local artist Ward Ellinger. Sometimes with tears, sometimes with smiles, we remember those whom we have lost to this disease. They will not be forgotten.
2. It is a chance to spend a beautiful morning surrounded by beautiful people. Okay, okay, two years ago we had a nor’easter on the day of the AIDS Walk, and when the walkers were done with the route, they were drenched. Fortunately that does not usually happen. And whether it is sunny or rainy, it is still a beautiful thing, because the AIDS Walk tends to attract the nicest people around. They are beautiful, inside and out.
1. It is the right thing to do. And the Number One reason to support the Rehoboth Beach AIDS Walk this year…
To learn more or to register, contact local AIDS Walk Coordinator Glen Pruitt at (302) 562-2553 or check out the AIDS Walk website.